Hey there, so glad you popped by! I've moved to a new address, however, and you can find my new blog at: The Weaver's Apprentice as of Monday, January 26, 2015. I hope you'll come visit me there! See you soon! XOXO

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Blues

It's been kind of somber and quiet around these parts for the past (almost) two months. I've been feeling frustrated since whatever it was that took wing inside me in the Fall that had me writing, painting, art journaling and cooking like mad seems to have faltered the last week of October, when Phiphi took a turn for the worse, and it's been gone almost entirely since he died.

I've also gained back some of the weight I'd lost and haven't done anything very active in almost two months. Britt and I had been going to Zumba (which I love...) twice a week, but we haven't gone since mid-October. I hate how easy it is to get out of healthy habits and how hard getting back on the self-care wagon is when I fall off... ugh.

We deep cleaned our apartment last weekend, which was nice. I've got some picking-up to do tomorrow, but it's still mostly clean. ^_^

Having a tidy apartment helps me feel less depressed, but once I start feeling depressed, it's hard for me to care enough to keep things clean.

I've slipped back into some of my bad habits the past two months, but I'm working on kicking them to the curb (again).

I've been trying hard to be kind to myself even when it's easier for me to be cruel... I've been taking lots of deep breaths lately and repeating nice things to myself under my breath. It mostly works (or I just sound crazy... who knows...) ^_~

I've missed blogging, but every time I've sat down to write in the past few weeks, there's just nothing. I'm just blank.

My usual hate/hate-slightly-less relationship with Facebook has swung back into the 'hate' side of things, so yeah... for whatever reason, I just can't find it in my heart to actually like that particular branch of social media. But I do like being connected to the people I like, so I keep my account and try to check it occasionally. ^_~

I ended up working all the holidays this year because my coworker is a selfish asshat, but there wasn't much to be done about it, so yeah.

We rescheduled Christmas dinner with Britt's folks for the 26th, and we just got back home. I ate too much... but we had a really nice time and I'm grateful that we have her parents to visit with. I am truly, truly lucky to have such great in-laws. ^___^

So yes... I'm kind of depressed, kind of irritated at being depressed and working on not being depressed anymore. And in my efforts to not be depressed (or irritated...), I'm off to finish cleaning up my kitchen... I made quite the mess this afternoon while making a white chocolate raspberry cheesecake to take for dessert tonight (it was sinfully delicious, btw... NOM)

I'm still working on revamping this here blog, but kind of thinking about maybe moving it to Wordpress? I don't know. I'm still figuring it out. Once I do figure it out, there will be fair warning before I do anything too terribly drastic. ^_~


I hope y'all had extra wonderful Winter holidays! I'm looking forward to the start of a new year and I hope that we'll see more of each other in 2015... Love and hugs!


Sunday, November 02, 2014

Come dance with us...

I tried to schedule this to post on November 2... but apparently I still struggle with the finer points of blogging... o_O

Posting it now, in memory of our cat, Phiphi, who passed away on November 3rd.

I think I've moved through most of the stages of grief a few times now, so I'm hoping healing can begin. Britt is struggling much more, since she and Phiphi had such a special bond... like in the Golden Compass.

We're both working hard to make sure that we don't tumble headlong into our respective abysses, and get stuck in depression, but it's hard... some days more than others.

I've had a few days where getting out of bed didn't really happen, but not many of those days. We're working hard to pick up the pieces and put them back together as best we can.

So even though Phiphi probably isn't dancing so much as curled up sleeping someplace toasty and warm with Kyo (the only cat he ever really liked, who passed away in 2008), this song makes me smile at possibilities someday, and cry because I can't have him here with us now.


Blessed Dia de los Muertos, my loves.

Like the celebrations this day, this song made me cry and smile... at the same time. It struck such a strong chord in me, it was like a physical blow. 

I'm off to visit with my beloved dead, but I wanted to share this with you. If you've read Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book, this might remind you of the Macabray...

 " ...Step and turn, and walk and stay,
  Now we dance the Macabray..."

Enjoy your special company today.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

It's time for the 7th annual Halloween Party!!!

Ah, my spooky darlings... It's that time of year where I once again run late to the party...

...Oh, wait... that's just about any time of year actually... I'm working on it.


At any rate, welcome to the seventh year of fabulous Halloween parties, hostessed by the even more fabulous Vanessa Valencia!!! =D

If you haven't visited her blog, A Fanciful Twist, you're in for a super treat... so get yourself over there and say hi!

For this year's Halloween party, I crafted a spell that's been needing crafting...

And this witch would love your help with something tonight (whether you consider yourself witchy or not), so without further ado...

Let's gather the supplies...

Then light the candles...

And lay out what we'll need tonight to make some extra special magic (for my godson, Sebastian.)

Some wee smudge sticks, made from dried herbs from my garden...

A feather found in the forest.

And a saint medal with St. Peregrine on one side and the Blessed Mother on the other side.

St. Peregrine is the patron saint of those fighting cancer. Sebastian (who turned 1 back in July), has just been diagnosed with leukemia... but that story is another post that I'll finish in the next few days.

Some witches have a ritual knife that they use... I have some nice, sharp embroidery scissors, re-purposed for kitchen use (and magic making). For me, they're more practical... and I'm less likely to accidentally cut off a finger. ^__~

Some melted wax from my kitchen candles hold tonight's spell candle steady. Toppling candles make a waxy mess (not to mention the fire hazard...)

Then into the mortar go the herbs, each chosen for their magical properties... 

Star Anise, Chamomile, Peppermint, Spearmint, Mullein, Red Clover, St. John's Wort and Valerian for protection...

Basil for strength...

Cinnamon for peaceful energy...

Cumin for good luck...

Dried Elderberries for blessings...

Ginger for good health...

Lavender and Tarragon for calmness and peace of mind...

Sage to banish negativity...

And Thyme for courage.

With the pestle, I grind everything up into as fine a mixture as I can get it. 

Not strictly necessary, but I've found that things mix better this way. ^_^

Lighting a smudge stick...

And letting the smoke waft around my work area.

I use my feather to fan the smoke from my smudge sticks in the directions I want it to go. I also use it to direct the smoke in my direction, to smudge myself. 

St. Peregrine sat in the herb mixture for a bit, soaking up the good vibes and magical properties of the herbs.

Then I poured the dry mix into a small jar and tied the medal around the neck.

The next ingredient is olive oil, to make this into candle anointing oil... since I do a lot of candle magic. ^_^

Once the oil has been added, it kind of just sits on top of the dried herbs...

So give it a good shake to mix all the goodness inside together.

Pouring the mixture onto his candle...

And then adding a little more...

There! Almost ready...

My last not-so-secret ingredient is glitter. Yup, glitter. A few shakes is all you need. 

As a side note, if you add the glitter after you light the candle, it sparks quite impressively... but this might upset your significant other, causing them to yell a bit... So don't do this while they're in the same room with you... ^_~

And now it's ready! 

Sometimes when doing candle spells, I'll use a thumbtack to inscribe words or phrases into the candle itself, sometimes I'll inscribe words or pictures and then add the oil/herb mixture or sometimes just the oil/herb mixture, which is what I did this time.

Sending my love, my thoughts, my hopes and wishes for Sebastian into the candle...

And now it's time to light it up!

I love candle light... it's always so cheery, even on the dreariest of days and nights...

The St. Peregrine medal will stay around the bottle of oil until the next time I go to Seattle to visit Sebastian. 

But for now, it's capped and sitting on the shelf that serves as part of my altar...

...Until I need to bring it down for another candle spell for him. ^_^

So, my lovelies, I mentioned that I'd love to have your help tonight... 

So if you would, for a minute, send a good thought my godson's way, I would be incredibly grateful. ^_^

Thank you all for stopping by for a spell

(I apologize, that was an awful pun... I just couldn't help myself though...)

I hope you enjoyed this little peek into some of my magic making... 

And I can't wait to see what everyone else has been up to! 

Remember to stop by Vanessa's blog!!!

See you all soooooon...


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Yep, I'm running late...

Eeks! Running a wee bit late because I had to work tonight! Boo! My face looks like Shock's...

But pretty please come back in a few hours to party with me for Vanessa Valencia's 7th annual Halloween Party!

Thank you! Love you! See you soon!!!


Friday, October 17, 2014

Witches in Fiction 2014... Crafting Blooming Howls

It's time my lovelies!!!

The fourth annual Witches in Fiction party has begun! And as per usual, I'm a little late to the party... but at least this year I'm getting my post in on the proper day! Ha! 

Ahem. Anyways...

If you haven't been over to Magaly's blog, Pagan Culture, click HERE and you'll find yourself there.

A wee story that's been kicking around in the back-most attic of my imagination... most notably every time I make coffee and my coffee pot steams and hisses and growls when it's just about done. I don't have a title yet, and I might write more, I don't know. But enjoy this little tidbit!


Written for Witches in Fiction 2014... Crafting Blooming Howls ^__^

Lightning forked through the sky, illuminating the room through the filmy curtains. It was followed a few seconds later by a long, deep roll of thunder. The cat sleeping on the back of the couch stretched, arching her back, then jumped down onto the belly of the woman sleeping on the couch, then onto the floor.

“Umph,” said the now-awake woman, as she turned a half-hearted glare at the cat, “Was that really necessary? You're not exactly light you know.”

The cat just looked at the woman with her large yellow-green eyes, yawned and walked the rest of the way to her food dish, before turning back and looking expectantly at her.

The woman sighed, “There's still kibble in there... finish those and I’ll give you more.”

The cat waited, staring... she almost looked as if she'd cocked an eyebrow.

“Fine, have it your way,” the woman said to her cat as she got up and poured more food into the dish. “Such a finicky cat...” and then she smiled as the cat wound around and through her legs in a 'Thank you' before heading back to her bowl to eat.

The woman, whose name was Maggie, looked at the green numbers glowing from the clock on the stove: 05:59. She groaned; it was way too early to be up since she had a full day of clients ahead of her. She flipped on the kitchen light and began rummaging through the cupboard filled with boxes and tins of tea.

She pulled out some chamomile, fully intent on going back to bed after a cup, and as she was reaching for her tea kettle, another bolt of lightning flashed in the sky, followed by another growl of thunder. This bolt, however, exploded spectacularly as it made contact with something a few miles away... and Maggie was plunged into darkness.

Maggie sighed again, “Oh well, guess I'll do it the old-fashioned way.”

She cupped her hands in front of her and called up a tiny ball of witchfire, just enough to see with. Then she walked around the kitchen lighting the candles. Soon the room was filled with soft, warm flickering light. She turned her attention back to the task at hand – making something warm to drink.

She decided that since she was up, and mostly awake now, she might as well get some work done. She could always take a nap later if she had to. She placed the tea back into the cupboard, having decided to make coffee instead.

Since boiling water on the electric stove was no longer an option, she went to Plan B. Still cupping the tiny ball of witchfire, she walked back over toward the cupboard filled with tea. This time, however, she opened the cupboard next to it and was greeted with the smell of good coffee beans and the tiny snores of the house's resident coffee maker – a small, kitten-sized dragon.

“Abelia,” Maggie said softly, “Abelia, I have a snack for you.”

Abelia opened one eye, then seeing the witchfire dancing on Maggie's hand, opened both eyes and stretched... quite similarly to the way the cat had stretched several minutes before. Abelia, however, didn't jump onto her mistress. Instead, she carefully rested her front claws on Maggie's hand and then delicately lapped at the witchfire until it was gone.

Then she began to purr, and a glow could be seen in her belly. Maggie smiled at the little dragon, “Will you make us some coffee, Abelia, pretty please?”

Abelia nodded then flew down from the shelf where she slept and landed next to the “other” coffee pot.

Maggie had a regular plug-into-the-wall kind of coffee pot that she used when she had guests, clients, customers, etc. over. She also had a coffee pot that had been passed down to her from her grandmother, who had created it with Abelia's help, to facilitate the making and drinking of coffee when electricity wasn't available – or when Abelia felt like making a pot for herself.

This coffee pot had been Abelia's idea, but she'd needed Maggie's Grandmother's opposable thumbs to bring it into existence.

Abelia loved coffee. It was her favorite thing to drink, and since all the women in Maggie's family, the ones since the invention of coffee anyways, had loved the brew as well, they were perfectly matched. Abelia figured out a way to brew a pot using her dragonfire, but since she was about the same size as a coffee pot, she really did need someone else to drink with. The witches of Maggie's family, and now Maggie herself, were the perfect drinking companions.

Also, coffee made by dragonfire gave back a bit of the energy to the witch that feeding the dragon witchfire had cost her... so it was a fairly equal exchange. Both giving and receiving each other's energies, deepening their bond and creating something that equaled out to much more than just the sum of its parts.

Abelia settled into her stone and cast-iron coffee maker and Maggie added the ground beans into their compartment, then added water into the compartment above the grounds. Then she stepped back.

Abelia's purr was louder now, almost a tiny roar. Then with as great a belch of flame as a small dragon could make, the water boiled and Abelia tipped the compartment so that it poured a little at a time into the ground coffee beans, then through the mesh bottom and into the pot below.

While Abelia was brewing the coffee, Maggie had collected her and Abelia's favorite mugs. She'd also cut the last of the bread she'd made two days before into slices along with some cheese and made up small plates for the two of them. Maggie cut some extra cheese for the cat, whose name was Crow, and then brought the plates to the kitchen table.

Abelia left her coffee maker and flew over to Maggie and perched on her shoulder. Maggie poured two cups of coffee and then added cream and honey to both before taking them back to the table and sitting down. Abelia flew to her seat across from Maggie and Crow jumped up to sit beside her.

After they'd finished breakfast, Maggie sat and sipped her second cup of coffee. Crow was curled in her lap and Abelia had draped herself about Maggie's neck and was snuggled beneath her thick, wavy hair, purring once again.

She visualized her day planner, which was in her bag in the living room, then called it to her along with a pen, a pencil and a notepad.

Maggie opened up the book and started going over her appointments for the day, making notes on the notepad about various things to do, gather, look up, etc. before each client would arrive.

The sky began to lighten as thunder continued to roll across it from one side to the other. Maggie continued sipping her coffee as she made out her To Do list for the morning, before her first client arrived at 10:30.

Since it was not quite 07:00 yet, she still had plenty of time. So she sat back in her chair to snuggle her dragon and cat, sip her coffee and watch the wind whip the Autumn leaves from the trees.

Today would be a good day, she could feel it in her bones. But then, any day that began with Abelia's coffee, followed by snuggles from both purring creatures was a good day.

She called the flickers of witchfire back from the candles and into her cupped palm, then closed her hand and absorbed the energy back into herself.

Crow yawned and stretched, then hopped down and padded across the floor to her water dish. Abelia snuggled deeper beneath Maggie's hair and smiled in her sleep.

Maggie got up from the table and crossed the kitchen to the dishwasher, where she placed their dirty dishes. She would run the thing tonight after dinner. Then she picked her To Do list up off of the table, scanned it one last time and then started getting ready for the rest of her day.

Click on the above pic to be taken to Magaly's blog and join in the partying! I hope you enjoyed my little tidbit here, and I can't wait to hop on my broom and visit the rest of Magaly's Wicked Darlings!!! See you sooooon!


Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Halloween Party with A Fanciful Twist

Hello lovelies!

It's almost time for the seventh (seventh!!!) annual Halloween party with the lovely Miss Vanessa Valencia over at her blog, A Fanciful Twist! Wheeeeee!!!

So grab your pointy hat and shoes, your broom, your cauldron and a black cat if you've got one... because it's once again time to party!

Make sure to visit her blog for all the details, and to sign yourself up!

And on the 25th come party with the other best pointy-hat-wearing group of people around! ^_~

I can't wait to see you then!


The Fourth Annual Witches in Fiction Blog Party!!!

It's almost tiiiiiiiiime...

For this year's Witches in Fiction party, over at Magaly Guerrero's blog, Pagan Culture!

Come join the party before the end of Wednesday, October 15th.

Then, finish a witchy project that's been patiently awaiting your attentions and post about it in your party post on October 17th. You'll find all the details on Magaly's blog.

Come party with the best pointy-hat-wearing group of people around! ^_~

And then go visit all the other participants and see what they've been up to as well. See you in a few days!!!

Oh, yes... she's also hosting quite a few give-aways in the days leading up to the party... so go check out her blog not just because she's fabulous, but also because several also-fabulous people have offered up goodies for her to give away, possibly to YOU. ^___^


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Midnight Wanderings & The Bitter End Coffeehouse

Tonight I am on a solo adventure, in a city I’ve never been able to muck about in by myself before.

Last Wednesday, I flew from Seattle, WA to Minneapolis, MN. My folks picked me up and we drove the two hours to their house in Britt, IA. The next morning, my mom, my sister, my niece and I left Britt before the sun came up and drove the ten hours to Grand Rapids, MI.

Grand Rapids is where my mom, myself and both my siblings were born. She lived here her entire life (until she married my dad) and I lived here on and off until I was about four. I’ve visited a handful of times, but each time I’ve been tied to my family and unable to go off on my own.

We're staying with my mom's sister, her husband and their two kids. Since everyone there is in bed, but I’m so not even close to being tired (my brain is still on Seattle time...), I decided to go to the 24 hour coffee shop I saw yesterday when we were driving home from visiting my grandma.

So here I sit, at The Bitter End Coffeehouse, sipping my coffee and eating my neon pink raspberry scone, blissfully happy at finally having some time to myself.

I’ve had a wonderful time with my aunts, uncles and cousins so far, but I’m in need of some time to myself to recharge my socializing batteries... lolz.

So I grabbed my laptop, my notebook and pen, stuck my debit card in my pocket and drove myself to The Bitter End. I drove around the block a few times, looking for parking and scoping out the place... it was packed... I parked across the street, sat in my car and stared for a few minutes, then grabbed my stuff & went inside. Take that, social anxiety! ^_~

And now I’m sitting at the long table along the wall, next to a college student who's working on her math homework.

I’d only planned to be gone for an hour or so, but I think I could happily stay here and drink coffee and type all night... but I won't, or my mom will worry. ^_^

I love wandering around places I’ve never been before, especially if I have several hours in which to do so. If it wasn't so late at night, I’d wander up and down the block as well, but since I don't know the neighborhood (and I’m by myself), I’ll pass on that this time. Safety first, and all that. ^_^

I really wish Britt had been able to come out with me... she would still be awake with me, and we could have wandered with impunity. But alas, she couldn't get the time off of work and school starts for her on Tuesday... and she can't miss her first day of class. And even though I’m really enjoying my visit with my family, I miss her and my kitties (and my bed) so much. I’ll be home in five days, though, so I’ll get to see them soon. ^_^

I bought Britt a Petosky stone as a souvenir... And since I know she doesn't read my blog, I can tell y'all about it. ^___^ Petosky stones are really neat. They're fossilized coral from the inland sea that used to cover Michigan in prehistoric times. Petosky stones are only found in Michigan, apparently, and are getting more and more rare. Britt has a love for anthropology and archeology that is possibly even greater than mine, and she also loves cool rocks... so I can't wait to get home and give her this stone. ^___^

Well... between my strangely tall chair an the strangely low table against the wall, my legs are falling asleep... so I think I’ll finish my coffee and head back to my aunt & uncle's place, and maybe even try to go to sleep. Or maybe I’ll just move to that empty table over there and do some writing... I think I’ll try that first.

Wherever you are, I hope you're having a lovely weekend! The Autumn Equinox is almost here (YAY!!!) and then October and Halloweeny goodness descends... I simply can't wait.

Until next time...


Sunday, September 14, 2014

I'm sitting at my desk, in my office at the hospital, sipping coffee and reading blogs. My staffing for 19:00 is finished, and miraculously, we're not short-staffed.

The coffee isn't fabulous, but I dumped a package of hot cocoa mix into it... poor woman's mocha? Why, yes, please, thanks. ^_~

I've been cleaning my house, messing it back up and then cleaning it some more... I've made four batches of jam so far this summer. One and a half of those batches will be going to my mom, because blackberry jam is her favorite. ^_^

I've been going through boxes still, left over from last Fall, after we cleared out our storage unit. We've donated, sold, given away or thrown out so much crap, I don't know how we still have stuff to get rid of. I also don't know how the heck we accumulated so much STUFF?!? Holy wow...

Most of what's left for me to sort through are books and magazines and craft stuff. I've decided to implement a new rule for myself in regards to crafting supplies... If I don't use it within a year of purchasing/finding it, I'm going to give it away or otherwise get rid of it. I've been carting around some of my junk since high school. I graduated in 2003, so, um, yeah. I'm probably not going to use it.

The best thing I found the other day, however, was a sheet of stick-on earrings that I've probably had in my possession since I was 8 or so... that's 21 years. How the hell have I not thrown those out or given them to some other little kid by now??? Good grief. I got a good laugh about them, and put them in the "To Donate" pile. Who knows, I may make some kid's day. ^_^

Even harder than craft stuff for me to get rid of, however, are things like books and magazines. Fortunately I don't read many magazines, but the ones I do read, I tend to keep. I've sorted through about half of the foot-high stack I have, and have recycled most of them.

 Books are the hardest thing for me to part with. I love books with a fierce love I find difficult to put into words. Reading has always been one of my most favorite things to do, and while I love my Kindle app on my iPod (since I can make the font bigger and the colors sepia... yay, no headaches!), it will never replace the pleasure I get from holding a physical book, smelling the paper, feeling the pages between my fingers... I want to cry when I donate my books... because to me it's like parting with old friends. There are quite a few books I'll never get rid of, because they're special as more than just a story, but I also have a bad habit of buying everything that catches my interest, and then keeping the books even if I know I'll never read them again (because I might want to... someday... maybe? And text books... I can't get rid of my chemistry book!!! I might need to look up how to convert something into Moles someday!!! Probably I won't, but you get my drift.) So I've been trying to clear my shelves of those kinds of books... so that I can keep the ones I've read so many times that they're worn at the edges. ^_^

Anyways... this blog post has now spanned almost my entire shift. I now have the staffing done for 23:00, and am off to start working on getting everything ready for tomorrow's day shift.

I'm looking forward to getting off tonight at 01:30, so that I can go home and do some more cleaning and de-cluttering... slowly but surely, I'm getting my apartment back to the way I like it; slightly messy, yet clean and uncluttered.

I hope you've had a wonderful weekend, whatever you've been up to!


Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Sunday short story

I was laying in bed, half asleep the other night when an idea for a story popped into my head. So I got up, typed it out & for your reading pleasure, here it is. I haven't done any editing, so if you see something that makes you say, "OMG... what the hell is she doing?" or something like that... lemme know in the comments. ^_^

It doesn't really have a title yet, but since I have to call it something, I'm calling it 'Theodore'. It was inspired by my neighbor, her giant teddy bear and someone standing in her yard wearing something out of a Miley Cyrus video.

Please note: the above mentioned famous person does not feature in this story. Eek. @_@


When she was four, Violet's father brought her home a teddy bear. Now, Violet's family was going through a hard time, but her father had saved enough from here and there to go to the thrift store and bring her home the bear he'd seen sitting there the week before.

She was elated. Her older sister, who was seven, turned her nose up at the idea of a second-hand bear and stomped off to her room, ignoring the gift her father had brought home for her.

Violet was enamored with the bear from the second she cuddled him to her chest. She kissed her father, told him thank you and that she loved him and love the bear and promptly ran off to play with her new friend.

Violet took the bear outside to her favorite spot in the yard, and they sat beneath the large oak tree and got to know one another. She introduced herself, and then waited for the bear to tell her his name. The bear sat and looked at her, but didn't say anything. She was alright with that, since she didn't much like to talk to people either.

That night, she wrapped her tiny arms around her bear and fell asleep. And then the dream came, the bad one that always had her waking up screaming. But this time, right as she was about to scream, a strange and wonderful thing happened. Out marched a tall boy in footy pajamas (complete with hood and ears), carrying a sword. He planted himself between Violet and the thing that always tried to get her in her sleep, and then proceeded to chase it away. Then he came back over to Violet, knelt before her and introduced himself as Theodore.

She stared at him for a moment, then threw her arms around his neck and gave him a tiny kiss on his cheek.

“Thank you,” she said simply.

Theodore smiled down at the small child, “You're welcome.”

Violet looked up at him, with his strange pajamas, and asked a question she was rather sure she knew the answer to, “You're my bear, aren't you?”

Theodore smiled down at her again. “Not quite, but very close. I’ll keep you safe from now on. Go back to sleep.”

Then Violet took his hand and they walked off, back into her dreamscape.

From that moment onward, Violet's childhood took a turn for the wonderful. She had tea parties and make-believe games and all sorts of adventures, all of which included her bear and Theodore.

When she was six, and her sister was nine, her sister found Violet talking to Theodore. Since Violet had the bear sitting next to her, her sister reasonably assumed it was the bear Violet was speaking to.

“Does he talk back to you, Violet?” her sister taunted.

Violet looked up at her sister's sneer and met it with a look of utter seriousness.

“Of course he does. Doesn't yours?”

Violet's sister stomped off. Her bear most certainly did not talk to her. Her little sister must be crazy.

Violet's sister told their parents about the supposedly talking bear. They assured her that it was just Violet's imagination, and that it was normal for small children to have imaginary friends. This mollified her, somewhat.

When Violet was ten, her father died in an accident at the factory he'd been working at and her world came crashing down around her. At the funeral and graveside service, she clutched bear to her chest, while Theodore stood behind her, his hands on her shoulders. He held her steady through the whole ordeal, and walked over to her father's grave with her after everyone else had gone off a little ways to the chapel for coffee and punch.

Violet felt her father's gaze before she actually saw him, standing there in his Sunday best on top of his newly filled grave. He looked at her and sighed. She went over and held his hand, much to her father's surprise. Theodore followed, close behind her. Violet's father looked at him, “Who are you?”

“Papa,” Violet said, “This is Theodore.”

Her father's newly dead eyes widened. “You're not imaginary...”

“No,” said Theodore, “I came home with the bear you gave her. It was my bear before.”

“Ah...” said her father, in sudden comprehension.

“So you will continue to keep my Violet safe?”

Theodore nodded, shook Violet's father's hand, and then stepped back a little ways.

Violet looked up at her father, “I'll be okay. And I think it's time for you to go. I love you, Papa.”

Then she hugged him fiercely until his shape shimmered away.

Then she cried, silent tears running down her face. Theodore came back to her side, took her hand and led her to a bench. He sat down beside her and hugged her until her tears stopped. He handed her his handkerchief to wipe her eyes on and blow her nose in. Then he tucked it back into his pocket.

Violet's mother found her sitting there on the bench after everyone had left. She collected her and they went home.

Because her father had died at work, the factory, in order to avoid any trouble, continued to pay Violet's mother the salary that Violet's father would have earned. The deal was to do this until Violet, as the youngest, had turned 18.

Her mother took the money and found solace in the unfortunate place that resides inside a vodka bottle.

Violet's sister, who had seemingly been born peevish, became even more-so. She took to staying away from the house and her remaining family as much as possible, staying mostly with friends.

Violet hadn't made many friends in school. The few she had made throughout the years always seemed to move away, and finally around the time she turned thirteen, she stopped trying to make friends. Teenagers, she discovered, were quite unpleasant for the most part. And frightfully stupid about so many things. She found she preferred the company of her books and of Theodore, who true to his promise to Violet's father, continued to watch over her and keep her safe, both in the waking world and in her dreams.

On Violet's fourteenth birthday, she was seated up in her favorite tree with her bear, whom she still cuddled in her arms as she slept, and Theodore. She was eating an apple and talking with Theodore about nothing in particular. Her sister crept to the bottom of the tree, and upon hearing her still talking with her “imaginary friend”, walked resolutely into the house and told their mother she was afraid that Violet was becoming unhinged.

Violet's mother was usually quite absent from her daughters' lives, but she worried at the news her youngest still talked to an imaginary someone she'd dreamed up in her early childhood.

She pulled out the phone book and made a call to a discreet doctor for an appointment.

The day before the appointment, Violet's sister was in a particularly foul mood. Of course her sister had to be crazy. If word got around school, what would her friends all think of her?

She walked past her younger sibling's open bedroom door, and upon seeing her curled up on her bed with a book and her bear, she shouted, “Tomorrow the doctor will see that you're crazy and I hope he locks you up for good!” Then she stormed out of the house.

Violet looked at Theodore, who was seated at the bottom of her bead, still dressed as he'd first appeared to her, in the hooded footy pajamas, with fuzzy ears on top. “Do you know what she's talking about?”

Theodore nodded. “Tomorrow, no matter what they ask you, you must not tell them about me. I can't keep you safe if they make you take those pills.”

Violet nodded. Her mother had started taking pills right after her father died, and all the light had gone out of her eyes. She promised Theodore that she would pretend to be their kind of normal.

And she did. The doctor, upon the conclusion of their visit, reassured Violet's mother that although she was quite shy, and should be encouraged to make friends, there was nothing wrong with her. There was no need to worry. She was a bright girl, even if she was lacking in the social skills department. Violet's mother was so relieved, she celebrated with an entire fifth of vodka in one go.

Violet spent the night in her tree with her bear and Theodore, talking quietly about the books she'd been reading and listening as he told her about books he'd read, once upon a time.

As the sky began to lighten, Violet climbed down out of the tree and got ready for school.

At school that day, something strange happened. Violet was in the lowest grade in the high school, and her sister was in the highest. They almost never saw each other, much to her sister's relief. Today, however, they ran almost right into each other. Violet's sister's lips curled in disdain, and she mockingly introduced her friends to her crazy sister. Violet didn't say much, aside from a polite, “Pleased to meet you,” which seemed to make her sister all the more angry.

That night at the dinner table, her sister asked Violet why she didn't get rid of the ratty old bear. Wasn't she too old for stuffed animals? Violet shook her head and said she kept him because she loved him. Her sister, not feeling terribly mature at the moment, retorted with, “Well if you love the damned thing so much, why don't you marry it?”

And as per usual, stomped off.

Violet's face took on a thoughtful expression. Then she smiled. When she finished growing up, she would marry Theodore. He was, after all, the only person she liked or who understood her or liked her. She would have to ask him what he thought about marriage, in a few years.

When Violet was fifteen, her sister came home one day from who knows where with a smirk on her face. Violet braced herself, because the smirk always meant that her sister was going to say something particularly nasty.

“Violet,” her sister began, “I have a story for you that I think you'll find most interesting.”

Violet looked at her sister across the room, and waited.

Violet's sister rolled her eyes, walked further into the living room and plopped down into the chair across from her younger sister.

“I know where your precious Theodore came from. I know why he's so ratty and why there are odd stains on him here and there.”

Violet held her breath.

“Funny thing, that you named him 'Theodore', you know?”

Violet watched as her sister leaned back into the chair and crossed one leg over the other at the knee.

“It seems that 15 or so years ago, there was an odd boy, probably mental or something, that lived in that big house up at the top of Copper Hill. Seems he had a teddy bear that he kept, even after he'd gotten too old for such foolishness. Kind of reminds me of you... Anyways, the way I heard it was that he killed himself one night while laying on his bed – sliced his arms up with razors, if you believe the story. I guess some of his blood got on his bear.”

Violet, still holding her breath, felt it leave her body in a great WHOOSH.

Her sister continued, “I guess the family housekeeper loved the boy like her own son, or something stupid like that, and kept the bear when the family got rid of all dead Theodore's things. Terribly embarrassed by his suicide, you know. Ugh, I mean, how ghastly!”

Violet sat still as a statue. Her beloved Theodore had killed himself. No wonder only she could see him. No wonder he'd been able to see her father at the grave. And that her father had finally been able to see him. She sighed.

“Anyways,” her sister continued, “Apparently the housekeeper died a few years after the boy killed himself, and all her junk was donated to the thrift store here in town. And our father bought you that stupid bear, stained with blood from some stupid kid that couldn't cope. What a ---”

Her sister's sentence went unfinished, because for the first time ever in her life, Violet had struck her. Open palmed, across the face, as hard as she could. The crack resounded through the room.

Violet fled.

Once in her bedroom, she locked the door and shoved the chair from her desk beneath the knob, just in case. But her sister didn't come looking for her. She was too shocked to do much of anything for a while, but sit there in the living room, mouth agape and hand pressed to the print Violet had just left on her face.

The look on Theodore's face told Violet that he'd heard her sister's story.

She walked over to him and took his hands in her slightly smaller ones, “Is what she said true, Theodore?”

He slowly nodded, and then a single tear ran down his cheek. Violet hugged him tightly, and hesitantly, Theodore hugged her back. He had only ever been hugged by one other person before, and that person had died when Violet was four.

He found he rather liked being hugged by Violet. He could feel how much she loved him, it radiated off of her in waves of deepest red.

He gently untangled her arms from around him, and tucked her into bed with a kiss on the top of her head. Then he took up his post of the last eleven years, standing right beside her bed, to make sure that she stayed safe throughout the night.

For the first night since her father's funeral, Violet didn't dream at all. She just slept, peacefully, with her guardian, ever vigil, at her side.

The next year passed relatively quietly for Violet and her mother. Shortly after Violet had turned fifteen, her sister had had her birthday. And since her sister had turned eighteen that year, she took off with some friends, and they hadn't heard from her since.

When Violet was seventeen, her mother's liver finally quit trying to process the ever increasing amounts of alcohol her mother consumed. Violet's mother died, screaming and thrashing, in a hospital room. Violet was her only visitor, not including Theodore, since he was never far from Violet's side.

After the final scream had clawed it's way out of her mother's throat, Violet sighed and was about to leave to get the nurse when she heard a whisper behind her.


She turned back around. “Yes, mamma?”

Her mother's spirit looked around, confused. Then her gaze settled on her former body. Her eyes went wide.

“I finally had one too many, didn't I?”

Violet sighed and walked over to her mother, who was standing beside the bed that held her body.

“Yes, mamma, your body couldn't take it anymore.”

Her mother looked at her. “I'm sorry, sweetie, I’m so sorry.”

Violet nodded her head.

“I know, mamma, I know. It's okay. You were the best mother you knew how to be. And you made sure we had food. And you never harmed us. So it's okay. You'll be able to see Papa soon.”

It was then her mother noticed Theodore, standing unobtrusively in a corner.

“Who is that?”

Her eyes were wide again in fright.

“Mamma, this is Theodore. Papa asked him to keep me safe after he died.”

“Oh my god... he's real.”

The specter blinked, “You're real!”

Theodore nodded. “Yes. And I’ll keep Violet safe. You have nothing to worry about. So rest now.”

And with that, Violet kissed her mother on the cheek, and like her father had done so many years ago, her form wavered and then slowly vanished.

Violet went to get the nurse.

After the funeral, Violet and Theodore walked back to what was now her house. The lawyer of her mother's estate, what there was of it, had said that she'd left the house to Violet, since her sister hated the place anyways. Her sister would get some money, if they were ever able to locate her.

Violet was exhausted, but she showered and then pulled on her comfiest pair of pajamas. Theodore, ever the polite ghost, waited for her in the living room. He had made tea and brought out her favorite book of poems and her bear. He tucked her in on the couch with a blanket, her bear and a cup of hot tea, then sat next to her and read to her the words she'd so often read to herself and to him that brought them both such comfort, until she began to doze.

He picked up the tea cup and brought it to the kitchen. Then he went back to her side and stood guard over her until she awoke the next morning.

Violet's sister never came home, and she never heard from her again. She hoped she'd managed to find some piece of happiness she could claim as her own, somewhere far away from the town they'd grown up in.

On Violet's eighteenth birthday, she and Theodore had a tiny but happy celebration up in their oak tree. Violet ate far too much cake, and she fell asleep with her head on Theodore's shoulder, and with his arm around her.

Once in her dreamscape, she turned to Theodore.

“Will you stay with me? Forever?”

Theodore sighed and looked sad. He told her how he'd only been allowed to stay with her until she was grown up. That he'd probably have to leave soon. He didn't really know how this all worked, since he'd never done it before.

Violet felt her chest clench at the thought of not having Theodore's company, ever again.

“I don't want you to go.”

“Why?” he asked.

“Because I love you. I have loved you since I was very small, but now I love you more. I am in love with you now.”

Theodore smiled another sad smile, for he too had loved this girl since she was small, then later he'd fallen in love with her as well.

“I love you too,” he said simply. Then he began to shimmer and fade, just as each of her parents had done.

Violet was not having it this time, however. She grabbed him and hugged him to herself, and he stopped shimmering. Then she kissed him. Not one of the sweet, innocent kisses on the cheek that she'd given him throughout her girlhood, but a kiss filled with passion, full on his mouth.

He stopped shimmering and fading entirely, more from being too startled to finish what he'd been doing, than anything. He'd never been kissed before. At least, never like that.

It was the best thing he'd ever felt in his life... or his after-life. It was even better than Violet's hugs.

“Violet, I don't know how to stay in the waking world with you. I don't know if I can.”

She smiled up at him and told him not to worry. That she knew what to do. That all he had to do was guard her while she slept tonight, like he always did.

Theodore promised he would guard her for one more night, and told her that once she awoke, what would happen, would happen.

Violet took Theodore's hand, laced her fingers with his, and they walked off deeper and further into her dreamscape than they'd ever previously adventured. They explored new places and met new creatures and new people they'd never known had existed there before.

There was only one difference between Violet's previous dreams and this one. With all of her other dreams, Violet had made the daily decision to wake up once morning came. This time, however, she made the decision to not wake up. Ever again.

And so Violet and Theodore, bound by his promise to guard her and keep her safe for one more visit to her dreamscape, found their way to stay together. For always.

And they are still there to this day, roaming hand in hand, having adventures, talking, laughing and kissing (amongst other things). And there they will remain, free in their love and in a world of their choosing.

The End.

I hope you enjoyed that, and that you have a lovely and love-filled Sunday. 


Friday, July 18, 2014

Summer in the Garden

It's been a beautiful week or two here in Bellingham... nice and warm and sunny. All my porch plants are growing like mad. The giant sunflower "sprout" we got from Britt's folks has tripled (or more) in size in just the past 10 or so days. ^_^

The edible flowers I'm growing are starting to bloom, so Bachelor's Buttons and Calendula will be making their way into my salads. Yum!

The Bee Balm is attracting more than just bees... Hummingbirds have been zipping by to grab sips... one just flew by actually. She stopped to chirp at me for a bit, zipped around the Bee Balm and then flew back toward the where I think her nest is. My heart is filled to bursting when I get hummingbird visits. =D

Macha has been out on the porch with me everyday to help water the plants... and flop about and eat catnip. She also keeps munching on my spinach and lettuces... which I chase her away from, since I want to eat them.

I have tons of tiny, green tomatoes... in a few days/weeks I'll have all the tomatoes I'll ever want. I simply can't wait. ^______^

I'm also getting ready for jam-making! I think this next stretch of days off I'll make some raspberry jam... or maybe try some raspberry-peach jam. Blackberry jam time is looming on the horizon, but not quite yet. I'd wanted to make strawberry jam this year, but missed the season. And buying fruit from a store to make the jam seems like cheating to me... =P

I planted some pickling cucumbers, as I've been wanting to try my hand at making pickles, and as soon as I'm done here I'm going to go tie up a trellis for them and finish tying up my tomatoes... it's getting gusty this afternoon, and we're supposed to get rain all weekend, so I need to make sure my tall plants are ready. ^_^

Off I go then! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I'll be at work this weekend (boo...), but at least I get to play in the greenery on my porch each day before I go.

Green & flowery kisses to all of you!!!


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Mad Tea Party 2014!!!

Hello my lovelies!!!

Welcome to our annual Mad Tea Party! This is one thing I look forward to every single year... ^_____^

This year's tea party is particularly special because it falls not only on a Full Moon, but a Super moon (aka a Perigee Full Moon)!

When the moon passes closest to the earth during its orbit, it's call a Super Moon... and as you can imagine, the Moon appears bigger than usual in the sky and the tides tend to be higher.

This year, we'll have a total of five Super Moons... so if you missed the first two New Moons in January, you'll still have the Full Moons of July (tonight!!!), August and September to catch a glimpse. ^_^

We all know that the Moon has been tied to madness for quite some time... Wereanimals (especially wolves) have some moon issues, and the word “Lunatic” is defined by the Online Etymology Dictionary as having come from the French word, lunatique, meaning one that is “affected with periodic insanity, dependent on the changes of the moon.” The French verb, lunage (insane) and the Latin, lunaticus (moon-struck) also tie madness and the Moon together in a nice little straight jacket.

So what better night for a Mad Tea Party, I ask you? None. Tonight is the perfect night. ^_~

So without further ado, let's go!!!

Step into my garden (said the spider to the fly...)

Okay, not really, but won't you please sit with me on my porch and have some tea?

Made in my goblin tea pot... filled to the brim with Earl Grey crème...

Some favorite books are old friends that stay with me always...

A tea cup from my mother... filled with rich, creamy goodness.


… Something special, just for all of you. ^_^

I’ve read Tarot for myself for a few years now, and now I’m going to do my first ever reading for someone else...


Before I get to our reading, I want to just say this:

If you don't have much experience with Tarot, let me tell you that there are no “bad” cards. There are cards that may bring to light shadow aspects of ourselves that we don't like much & need to work on, but that's it. Also, I’m not telling your future. ^_^ We each have the power to create and change our now and our tomorrow... Tarot is a way to help us get to know ourselves better... ask questions of ourselves... delve deeper than is always comfortable... and help trigger our creativity so that we can always be our best selves. ^_^

As I sat and sipped my tea beneath the full and gorgeous moon, I pulled a card for each astrological sign and focused on what each of us might need to hear right now.

Aries: For you I drew the Four of Swords. Swords might seem ominous, but for the sleeping girl on the card they are a marker for where she's sleeping. The fourth sword is her own, resting beside her, waiting for her to wake up and once again go into action. This card may indicate that you need to take some good care of yourself and rest. Relax. Make sure you're not letting yourself get burned out! Do something for yourself that renews you, so that you can go back to your daily tasks reinvigorated.

Taurus: The Ace of Swords is your card tonight. Aces are indicative of new beginnings, and the Ace of Swords is telling you that you possess amazing inner strength and power. This inner strength along with determination and courage will help you lead a situation to victory. As Peter Parker (Spiderman) learned from his Uncle Ben, however, with great power comes great responsibility. If you're currently in a position of power or if you find yourself in a new one, make sure that you use your powers to affect positive change.

Gemini: The Five of Cups came up for you. This card may look unpleasant, with a woman yelling at her husband about the three spilled cups, but keep your eyes on the two cups that remain standing & filled with possibilities. These two remaining cups along with the still blooming rose show that even though a relationship in your life (romantic, platonic or even your relationship with yourself) might be strained, imperfect or rocky, with hard work, patience and understanding the relationship can be mended. Also, good communication here is key! And remember, once a wound heals and scars, the scar tissue is much stronger than the original skin.

Cancer: Tonight, your card is The Chariot! This card is calling for you to boldly go where no wo/man has gone before. The Chariot has places to go, people to meet and adventures to be had. The Unknown is calling to you... You've got the strength and experience of your past to support you, so create your strategy and then implement it. Your life will take off in new and wonderful ways.

Virgo: I drew for you the King of Swords tonight. The King of Swords is a strong leader, with the ability to use his willpower to get done what needs to get done. He is determined, logical and disciplined. Do you see yourself as a leader? Chances are that even if you don't, other do. Sometimes the best leaders are the ones that feel “least qualified” to lead. If you're given the opportunity to lead, take it! Even if it feels waaaaaaaay out of your comfort zone. After all, if we never leave our comfort zones, we'll never grow. ^_^

Sagittarius: The card I drew for you is Strength. This card isn't about physical strength, necessarily, so much as inner strength. Our physical power will only get us so far in tough situations, but our inner strength, willpower and endurance will carry us through the hard times and into the good things beyond. This card tells us that we need to be secure in ourselves, as this will give us a great wellspring of inner strength to tap into when life gets rough. Other aspects to this card include both courage and compassion, as well as having the strength to stay in control over our emotions and our mindset. Life may be serving us up a great, steaming pile of shit, but we are always in control of how we choose to deal with things.. and whether we're going to wallow or actively try to make our situation better. ^__^

Leo: You, my dears, got the Ace of Pentacles. Now as I said earlier, Aces indicate new beginning. If you look closely at the pentacle that the dragon is holding, you'll see that not only does this pentacle contain the entire universe, a new star has just been formed in the very center. This star-baby has all the potential to grow into something truly spectacular. Right now is a great time to “plant seeds” of what you want for your future self. Think about what you'd like your future to look like. Now think of what you can do now to help those seeds grow and mature so that your future will be filled with the things you not only want, but have worked hard to get.

Pisces: As a March baby, this is my sign... and for us, I drew the Six of Wands. This card is all about celebration and victory! If you look at the card, you'll see a newly transformed creature emerging from it's cocoon, surrounded by the uplifted hands of those celebrating the change. Sometimes life is rough & we feel the need to withdraw into ourselves, into our safe cocoon. If we do things right, however, we'll emerge again better and stronger than before. Each time life or circumstances knock us down, if we're able to get up & learn from our mistakes, change and evolve, we'll be constantly morphing into newer, better, stronger versions of ourselves. Sometimes change is hard, painful and just plain sucks. But know that if we allow ourselves to dip into our creativity and evolve to meet the new challenges, we'll be okay and we'll come out the other side a newer, more amazing version of ourselves.

Aquarius: For you, I’ve drawn the Eight of Wands. This card cautions against hastily made decisions and those decisions made without having all the information available to you. The woman is getting ready to chop down the wands, and is so intent on her task that she fails to notice the crow flying her way, bearing important information – information that might alter her course of action significantly if she were to be receptive to it. Make sure that you have all your info before you make any significant decisions. This will lead you to making better choices, as well a hopefully help you avoid having to back-track or re-do things.

Capricorn: The Queen of Wands is your card tonight. This queen is confident and self-assured. She is well-liked, and people feel drawn to her. You, my dear Capricorns, are amazing. Be confident in who you are, and people will feel this confidence radiating off of you. I know that when I’m around someone who radiates self-confidence, everyone around them seems to feel it... and it's awesome. So often we're told that to be confident or assertive is to be arrogant (or a bitch, if you're a woman...); This couldn't be farther from the truth. In fact, it's just about as opposite as things can get. There will be people who don't like true self-confidence in others, but those are usually the ones who lack their own self-confidence and use arrogance as camouflage. The Queen of Wands is telling you to be confident in who you are, and you'll inspire others to be the same. Self-confidence is one of those wonderful gifts that really does keep on giving.

Scorpio: Tonight you got the Page of Cups. This card shows a woman soothing a lost sea creature while on her way to put him back in the water, where he lives. In thanks for her kindness and compassion, the sea creature offers her a pearl. There is so much suffering all around us, every day, that it's easy to become numb to it. This card is all about compassion and keeping our eyes open, then doing something, even something tiny, to alleviate that suffering. This could be anything from volunteering somewhere to moving a spider outside instead of killing it to something as simple as giving someone a genuine smile. Smiles are tiny pieces of kindness that make others feel good... and you'll feel good too. Also, there's a little piece of folklore that says if you find a spider in your house & release it outside instead of killing it, you get to ask the spider a question... and she'll answer you, even if it's not quite in the way you'd expect. ^_^

And last but not least...

Libra: Tonight your card is the Seven of Wands. The child on the card has been lost, but has just discovered the path leading home. This card is about going through a struggle and coming out victorious. Life can throw us nasty curve balls and things seem like they're totally FUBAR. This card tells us that even though we're feeling lost, confused, frustrated and scared, if we keep going we'll find our way through. This card does not promise that it'll be easy, but it does say that there is an end to the tunnel, and there's light at the end too. If you're going through a hard time right now, know that if you keep working, keep walking and don't give up, you'll find your path out and home. And I’m rooting for you!

I hope you have a glorious time partying with everyone this weekend!!! Make sure you visit our most lovely hostess, Vanessa over at A FancifulTwist!!!

Well then... this lunaticus is off to do some more dancing under this gorgeous moon, but I thank you muchly for coming over for some tea... and Tarot. ^_^